Eliza Southwood practiced as an architect for ten years before deciding to take up a career as an artist and illustrator full-time in 2011, although she has consistently drawn and painted throughout her life. Her first illustration commission was a Spanish children’s book, when she was aged 13.
From the age of ten she spent her childhood in a remote part of Spain, where she grew up drawing and painting scenes of local life in the mountains. Her creative streak was later channelled into architectural design, and she graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Architecture, later finishing her postgraduate architectural studies in London. She spent several years working as a designer for Eric Parry Architects in London and later Arup Associates. However, having realised that she enjoyed carrying out the ‘artist’s impression’ part of her job more than any other, she finally decided to give up architectural practice in order to work full time on her own art projects.
Eliza’s architectural training fostered a technical eye for detail and colour, which is apparent in her artwork. Her speciality is silk screen printing, but she also works in mixed media, watercolour and acrylic. One of her favourite subjects is cycling, and over the years she has a produced a wide range of cycling themed prints, many of which are inspired by bike races. A casual cyclist herself, Eliza has ridden all over London for the last 20 years, either on a vintage Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra or her Brompton.